IBM Acquires Cloud-based MDM Firm Fiberlink

Big Blue adds Fiberlink's MaaS360 cloud-based MDM platform to its expanding MobileFirst solutions set. Plus: Dell reveals plans to launch an enterprise MDM platform in 2014.

IBM today announced that it had completed the acquisition of Fiberlink Communications, the Blue Bell, Penn.-based maker of the cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) platform MaaS360. Financial terms have not been disclosed by the companies.

The privately held company's technology helps IBM make a push into cloud-enabled enterprise mobile management. In a statement, IBM said MaaS360 "expands IBM MobileFirst solutions with new cloud-based capabilities to deliver a comprehensive mobile management and security solution for global organizations of all sizes."

IBM kicked off its MobileFirst initiative in February. MobileFirst encompasses MDM and analytics. The tech giant is also courting mobile developers by partnering with AT&T for outreach and support programs. Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM middleware software, said during its debut that as smartphones and tablets "become ingrained in everything that we do, businesses are now in the palms of their customers' hands."

"IBM MobileFirst is designed to make the transformation to becoming a mobile enterprise a reality," said LeBlanc.

More than just opportunity to help business support BYOD initiatives by embracing smartphones and tablets like Apple's popular iPad, the move expands "vision for enterprise mobility management." That vision, according to Big Blue, could have a trust-enhancing effect on the burgeoning mobile B2B and B2C marketplaces, enabling "secure transactions between businesses, partners and customers," said IBM.

Speed is of the essence, and Fiberlink's MaaS360 cloud offerings allow businesses to quickly come to terms with managing mobile devices, suggested Deepak Advani, general manager of IBM Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure, in press comments.

"Building on Fiberlink's rapid time to value, clients now gain additional solutions to quickly and confidently embrace mobility," stated Advani. In fact, IBM's ever-growing enterprise cloud services slate, helps clients "eliminate barriers to adoption and speed results," he asserted.

Like IBM, newly-private Dell is gearing up to provide MDM for its customers.

The Round Rock, Texas-based server and IT services provider recently revealed plans to launch an enterprise MDM platform in 2014. Called Dell Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), the product bundles technologies from the company's acquisitions, including SonicWALL, Credant, KACE and Wyse. "The result is a comprehensive mobile enablement solution that elevates data security and mobile workforce productivity," stated the company.

MDM pure plays are also vying for a slice of enterprise IT budgets. AirWatch and MobileIron both recently announced app scanning capabilities, courtesy of Veracode, to help businesses spot apps that could potentially put their corporate data at risk.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: cloud computing, IBM, Dell, mobile device management, MDM

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